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Ugandan military dismisses threats by Somalia Islamist leader

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Ugandan military on Tuesday dismissed threats by the leader of the Somali radical militia group, Al Shabaab that it will launch attacks on Uganda and Burundi that has deployed peacekeepers in the war torn country.

Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye told Xinhua by telephone that the Monday threats by Sheikh Mugtar Abdelrahman Abu Zubeyr against the citizens of the two countries are not new but are aimed at deterring the troops from their peacekeeping mission in the volatile country.

Abu Zubeyr said that the people of Uganda and Burundi will face revenge for their troops' role in Somalia where they are deployed under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

"Those threats are not new. They have always been there. They are made out of desperation and frustration," said Kulayigye.

"Their motive is to derail us from our peacekeeping mission. We are in Somalia by conviction. We shall continue with our mission," he said.

In an audio tape broadcast on local radio stations, Abu Zubeyr accused the AU peacekeeping force in Mogadishu of committing " massacres' against the people in the capital city.

Kulayigye denied the accusations saying the atrocities and massacres in the Horn of Africa country are committed by the Al Shabaab militias, who have been fighting transitional the federal government forces.

"We don't commit crimes or massacres in Somalia. Our job is peacekeeping. They are the ones who are committing massacres in Somalia," said Kulayigye.

Uganda and Burundi are the only countries which have deployed some 4,300 troops in the volatile country, which according to experts, now needs up to 27,000 troops instead of the previously required 8,000.

Source: Xinhua